Writing in the Sciences Coursera Quiz Answers – Networking Funda

All Weeks Writing in the Sciences Coursera Quiz Answers

This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences.

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Writing in the Sciences Coursera Quiz Answers

Week 01: Homework

Q1. It has been found that most people consider buying a house the largest purchase they can ever make.

  • Most people consider buying a house the largest purchase they can ever make.
  • Most people consider buying a house the largest purchase they can make.

Q2. Give a three-letter word that means the same thing as: “utilize”.

  • use

Q3. What’s a more concise way to write “round in shape”? (The answer should be one five-letter word.)

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q4. Give a three-letter word that means the same thing as: “at the present moment”.

  • now

Q5. What’s a more concise way to write “until such time as”? (The answer should be one five-letter word.)

  • until

Q6. Give a seven-letter word that means the same thing as: “due to the fact that”

  • because

Q7. Rewrite the following sentence to remove the phrase “there are.” (Don’t make other changes to the sentence; and make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation.)

There are extensive quality control measures that are unique to this pipeline.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q8. Rewrite the following sentence to remove the “not” (make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation)::
She was not a good student.

  • She was a poor student

Q9. Rewrite the following sentence to remove the “not” (make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation):
She did not remember where she put her keys.

  • She forgot where she put her keys.

Q10. Edit the following sentence to remove repetition. (Make sure to maintain the basic structure of the sentence and to use correct spelling and punctuation):

The man began to behave strangely and in odd ways after he started taking the drug.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q11. The following sentence contains three “hedge” words (seem, suggest, apparent). Rewrite the sentence to remove all but one of these hedge words. (Make sure to maintain the basic structure of the sentence and to use correct spelling and punctuation.)

The data seem to suggest an apparent problem with the tool.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q12. Shorten this sentence to just six words by removing unnecessary words (make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation):

  • Chemistry majors are generally a very creative and highly energetic group.
  • Chemistry majors are creative and energetic.

Q13. For questions 13-16, more than one answer is possible. Use your best judgment to infer the author’s intent. Grading is based on completion only. After submission, you should check your work by comparing your answer with the model answer provided.

Rewrite the following sentence for brevity:

The aim of this paper is to provide a review of the basic principles of quantum physics.

  • This paper reviews quantum physics.

Q14. Revise the following sentence for clarity and brevity:

One example of laser interferometry in action is it can be used for the measurement of the drift of a micro cantilever over time.

  • Laser interferometry can be used to measure the drift of a micro cantilever.
  • For example, laser interferometry can be used to measure the drift of a micro cantilever.

Q15. Revise the following sentence for clarity and brevity:
Many women with BRCA mutations take prophylactic steps towards reducing their risk of ever getting the cancer because early detection is not perfect.

  • Many women with BRCA mutations opt for prophylaxis, because early detection is imperfect.
  • Women with BRCA mutations opt for prophylaxis, because early detection is imperfect.

Q16. Revise the following sentence for clarity and brevity:
Finally, it may be argued that, with fuller charts than the Daily Weather Reports and better forecasting, much better results might be obtained, and while this is to a certain extent true, it is feared that the improvement would not be great.

  • More comprehensive charts and better forecasting might improve results by only a small amount.

Week 02: Homework

Q1. Rewrite the following sentence to put it into the active voice. (Keep the rest of the sentence the same, and make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation.):
The predicted sharp edges characteristic of a cosmic string were observed by several teams.

  • Several teams observed the predicted sharp edges characteristic of a cosmic string.

Q2. Rewrite the following sentence to put it into the active voice. (Keep the rest of the sentence the same, and make sure to use correct spelling and punctuation.):
The tables were reformatted by me.

  • I reformatted the tables.

Q3. Is this sentence in the active voice or the passive voice?
Overall, 191 chocolates out of a possible 258 (74%) were observed to have been eaten.

  • Active
  • Passive

Q4. Rewrite “have a discussion” as a single verb.

  • inspire

Q5. Rewrite “provide a recommendation” as a single verb.

  • confirm


Q6. What is the main problem with the verbs in this passage?
“Sialic acids are a highly diverse group of nine-carbon
amino sugars. They are a component of glycoconjugates
(mainly glycoproteins and glycolipids). Glycoconjugates is the general classification for carbohydrates covalently linked with other chemical species such as proteins, peptides, lipids and saccharides.”

  • They are in the passive voice.
  • They are boring “to be” verbs.
  • They are buried verbs.

Q7. What is the main verb in the following sentence? (Please enter only one word in the space provided.)
The results of variation of the applied chromatographic conditions, such as the bulk solvent composition, the concentrations and ratio of the acid and base additives, the presence of water as mobile phase additive and the counter-ion concentration furnished a better understanding of the retention mechanism.

Furnished

Question 8-13 may have more than one correct answer. Use your best judgment to infer the author’s intent. Grading is based on completion only. After submission, check your work by comparing your answer with the model answer provided.

Q8. Revise the following sentence to reduce the distance between the subject and predicate (main verb) of the sentence:
The results of variation of the applied chromatographic conditions, such as the bulk solvent composition, the concentrations and ratio of the acid and base additives, the presence of water as mobile phase additive and the counter-ion concentration furnished a better understanding of the retention mechanism.

  • The results of variation of the applied chromatographic conditions furnished a better understanding of the retention mechanism

Q9. Change the following sentence into the active voice; also revise the sentence for clarity and brevity:
The animal numbers for each group are chosen to achieve an adequate sample size to be able to observe a signal for effect in the behavioral tests.

  • scientist chose a representative sample of animals to measure a tests ‘effectiveness

Q10. Change the following sentence into the active voice; also revise the sentence for clarity and brevity:
The validity of self-report of raised nevi over the telephone was evaluated in comparison to dermatological examination among a sub-sample of 25 subjects from the total sample of 100.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q11. Revise the following sentence for clarity and brevity:
This suggests that a high priority of providers, managers of health care, and researchers should be the identification and evaluation of approaches to improving the cost-effectiveness of managing the most prevalent chronic disease conditions in the general population.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q12. Revise the following passage for clarity and brevity; also, change all passive voice sentences to the active voice.
We classified injuries as initial or subsequent injuries. An initial injury was defined as the athlete’s first injury incident during the season. Subsequent injury was defined as any injury that occurred after the initial injury, including re-injury to the same body part or a subsequent new injury to a different body part. Total injuries included all injuries recorded, initial and subsequent.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Q13. Revise the following sentence to fix the buried verb; also improve clarity and brevity:
The lower external joint moments at the knee and hip joints, the lower mechanical work at the knee joint during stance, the lower energy loss in the prosthetic ankle joint, and the lower total body mechanical work in each ground contact leads to the assumption that running with dedicated prostheses allows the double transtibial amputee sprinter to run at the same level of performance as able-bodied controls, albeit, at lower metabolic costs.

  • “Please Comment answers below”

Week 03: Homework

Q1. Which of the following options is the best way to punctuate this sentence?

  • Microarray users acknowledge that an all-inclusive finger-prick test is unlikely to materialize anytime soon, but they have a more modest goal for their next decade; to streamline their search for meaning in a vast sea of data.
  • Microarray users acknowledge that an all-inclusive finger-prick test is unlikely to materialize anytime soon, but they have a more modest goal for their next decade (to streamline their search for meaning in a vast sea of data).
  • Microarray users acknowledge that an all-inclusive finger-prick test is unlikely to materialize anytime soon, but they have a more modest goal for their next decade: to streamline their search for meaning in a vast sea of data.

Q2. Which of the following options is the best way to punctuate this sentence?

  • The gene codes for a protein that prevents tumor cell death; blocking this protein might boost chemotherapy response.
  • The gene codes for a protein that prevents tumor cell death (blocking this protein might boost chemotherapy response).
  • The gene codes for a protein that prevents tumor cell death: blocking this protein might boost chemotherapy response.

Q3. Read this sentence: “This light detection changes the Phytochrome’s conformation between a state under red light that binds directly to a phytochrome interacting factor (PIF) and a state under infrared light that doesn’t bind to PIF.” This sentence suffers from all of the following problems EXCEPT:

  • Unparallel sentence structure
  • Needless wordiness
  • Lack of clarity

Q4. Identify one key problem with this sentence: “The concern expressed by the reviewers that the study had insufficient statistical power to find clinically meaningful effects lacks merit.”

  • This sentence lacks parallelism.
  • The sentence is incomplete.
  • The subject and main verb are too far apart.
  • The word “effects” should be replaced with “affects.”

Q5. Identify one key problem with the following sentence: “The initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are difficulties learning new material and in memory for recent events.”

  • The sentence is in the passive voice.
  • The sentence contains unnecessary adverbs.
  • The sentence is incomplete.
  • The sentence lacks parallel structure.

Q6. Identify one edit that would improve this sentence: “There are three distinct brain pathways that participate in the behavior.”

  • Rewrite to eliminate the phrase “there are”
  • Change the sentence from the passive voice to the active voice.
  • Decrease the distance between the subject and the main verb.
  • Replace the word “distinct” with the word “distinctive”

Q7. Which of the following edits would most improve this sentence: “The mutant fungal cells showed profuse proliferation throughout the plant, whereas the infected plants showed poor growth and often died.”?

Eliminate the adverb “often.”

Change the nouns “proliferation” and “growth” into verbs.

Bring the subject and main verb of the sentence closer together.

Use the abbreviation MFS instead of writing out “mutant fungal cells.”

Q8. Questions 8-11 have many possible answers. Use your best judgment to infer the author’s intent. Grading is based on completion only. After submission, you should check your work by comparing your answer with the model answer provided.

What do you think is the main idea of the following paragraph? Summarize the main idea in a single sentence.

Neuropeptides are important mediators in the functionality of the brain and other neurological organs. Because neuropeptides exist in a wide range of concentrations, appropriate characterization methods are needed to provide dynamic, chemical, and spatial information. Mass spectrometry and compatible tools have been a popular choice in analyzing neuropeptides. There have been several advances and challenges, both of which are the focus of this review. Discussions range from sample collection to bioinformatic tools, although avenues such as quantitation and imaging are included. Further development of the presented methods for neuropeptidomic mass spectrometric analysis is inevitable, which will lead to a further understanding of the complex interplay of neuropeptides and other signaling molecules in the nervous system.

Q9. Revise the following passage. Condense material to a single sentence; remove
repetition; and correct parallelism.

Several limitations should be noted. Major limitations are the incomplete sample
participation in young adulthood, possible unmeasured underlying susceptibility factors,
(e.g., familial influences), and some researchers might question the reliability of the TD
instrument for measuring drug dependence.

Q10. Revise the following passage to improve parallelism, clarity, and brevity:

Waste stabilization ponds have been studied under many different climatic conditions on
all six inhabited continents. The main findings have concluded that ponds: (1) have
higher removal efficiencies in warm, sunny climates, (2) should be situated far enough
from human populations to prevent unnecessary human health risks and nuisance
conditions, and (3) located in areas with high winds may require baffles or wind breaks to
ensure optimal performance.

Q11. Revise the following paragraph for clarity and brevity:

Prior to calculating suicide rates that are stratified by church membership and activity
level, records from the state and from the church needed to be linked. However, state
death records and church records do not share a common unique identifier. In order to
link records from these two sources, we used the probabilistic linking program
LinkedPro7 (17). This program calculates probabilities to determine whether a pair of
records refers to the same person.

Week 05: Homework

Q1. True or False: The introduction section of a research manuscript should be about 10 paragraphs long.

  • True
  • False

Q2. True or False: Data presented in a figure should always be repeated in a table.

  • True
  • False

Q3. True or False: The discussion section should begin with a statement of the study’s main strengths and limitations.

  • True
  • False

Q4. True or False: When writing research manuscripts, it is best to write the abstract first.

  • True
  • False

Q5. True or False: Tables and diagrams are prohibited in the methods section.

  • True
  • False

Q6. The following paragraph appeared at the end of the introduction section of a paper that examined alcohol consumption and cognitive decline:

“We used data on alcohol consumption gathered prospectively over 30 years to investigate associations with brain structural and functional outcomes in 550 non-alcohol dependent participants. Our hypotheses were twofold: light drinking (<7 units weekly) is protective against adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline and heavier drinking (above recommended guidelines) is associated with adverse brain and cognitive outcomes.”

Which of the following sentences most likely appeared at the start of the discussion section of the same paper?

  • “We have found a previously uncharacterised dose-dependent association between alcohol consumption over 30 years of follow-up and hippocampal atrophy, as well as impaired white matter microstructure.”
  • “Prospective studies of the effects of alcohol use on the brain are few, and replication of these findings in other populations will be important.”
  • “Other studies vary in reported rates of heavy drinking, but our rates are comparable.”
  • “Strengths of this study are the 30 year longitudinal data on alcohol consumption and the detailed available data on confounders.”

Q7. The following sentences are from a research study that was published in the BMJ Christmas issue. Researchers left boxes of chocolates out in a hospital ward, and then covertly studied their patterns of consumption.

Which sentence is most likely from the methods section?

  • “Literature on chocolate consumption by healthcare workers in a hospital setting is lacking.”
  • “Overall, 191 chocolates out of a possible 258 (74%) were observed to have been eaten.”
  • “Observations took place in the last week of August 2013.”
  • “The median survival time of a chocolate was 51 minutes (95% confidence interval 39 to 63).”
  • “In keeping with many biological processes, the way a box of chocolates is consumed seems to follow an exponential decay process, with an initial rapid ‘grab’ phase.”

Q8. The following sentence appeared in a paper reporting the results of a meta-analysis of coffee drinking and liver cancer:

“In our meta-analysis of 18 cohort studies, involving 2 272 642 participants and 2905 cases, and 8 case–control studies, involving 1825 cases and 4652 controls, increasing coffee consumption by two cups per day was associated with a 35% reduction in the risk of HCC (RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.59 to 0.72).”

This sentence most likely appeared in which section of the paper?

  • Results
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Discussion

Q9. The following sentence appeared in the last paragraph of the introduction section of a paper on maternal antidepressant use and birth defects:

“Given the current debate, and the public health impact and clinical implications of prescribing and using antidepressants during pregnancy on the fetus, we aimed to study the association between first-trimester exposure to antidepressants and the risk of major congenital malformations in a cohort of depressed pregnant women.”

Which of the following sentences most likely appeared in the first paragraph of the discussion section of the same paper?

  • “We found that women using serotonin inhibitors during the first trimester, including SSRIs, SNRIs and some tricyclics, were at risk of having a child with cardiac, musculoskeletal, craniofacial, digestive and respiratory defects as well as craniosynostosis. “
  • “Our results are consistent with animal and experimental studies, which demonstrated a mechanism whereby alterations in serotonin by serotonin inhibition (SSRI, SNRI and some tricyclics (amitriptyline)) can impact morphogenesis and organogenesis.”
  • “Limitations include missing information on potentially important confounders such as smoking, folic acid intake and alcohol intake.”
  • “Given that an increasing number of women are diagnosed with depression during pregnancy, these results have direct implications on their clinical management.”

Q10. The following paragraph appeared in the results section of a paper comparing glucosamine to placebo for treating osteoarthritis pain (as measured by the VAS score):

“Applying a mixed-effects regression model with adjustments for age and BMI yielded mean VAS scores at 24 weeks of 2.97 (95 % CI 2.38–3.56) and 2.88 (95 % CI 2.29–3.47) in the glucosamine and placebo groups, respectively (see Table 2). This indicated no significant difference between the two groups, with an estimated mean difference of 0.09 (95 % CI −0.75 to 0.94).

Revise this paragraph to improve concision and clarity. Grading is based on completion only. After submission, make sure to compare your answer to the model answer provided.

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